The European Respiratory Society (ERS) and 3D Systems have signed a collaboration agreement to provide simulation equipment and event services for training centres for use in the ERS Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) Certified Training Programme.
As a result of the agreement, 3D Systems' BRONCH Mentor hands-on simulator will be used at three ERS training centres, based in Heidelberg, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, during the first two parts of the EBUS training programme.
Access to the equipment will assist in the development and assessment of practical EBUS skills; EBUS is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used on an outpatient basis to not only diagnose and stage lung cancer but also to assess mediastinal nodes for other diseases such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis or metastases from extrathoracic malignancies.
Previously, more invasive and costly procedures such as mediastinoscopy were required to reach the same diagnosis. The EBUS technique uses ultrasound along with a bronchoscope to visualise the bronchial wall and the adjacent mediastinal structures, meanwhile enabling real-time ultrasound-guided aspirations.
Participants on the EBUS training programme are taught to competently perform endobronchial ultrasound via simulated EBUS tasks and cases using the BRONCH Mentor, as well as to independently assess patient history and results; identify indications and contraindications; perform independent procedures; and to interpret results and draw conclusions.
Professor Jouke Annema, an EBUS programme organiser, from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, said: "We are pleased to have come to an agreement with 3D Systems to provide services and technology at our EBUS training centres across Europe. The collaboration provides a number of advantages for ERS; our training centres will be better equipped, and training programme participants will be able to practice their endobronchial ultrasound skills using the most advanced simulation technology on the market."